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Thread: New Master's Before PhD in Business?

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    Question New Master's Before PhD in Business?

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    Originally, I earned my BA with a double major in Business and History: total GPA of 3.75. I planned to become a history professor so I completed a MA in History from a top 50 national university with a GPA of 4.0. At this point, I realized the poor job prospects for people who earned a PhD in history.

    Fast forward 18 years... in order to support my family I teach mathematics and computer science in a public high school. At this point, I figure it is now or never to become a university professor. I am looking at applying to AACSB accredited programs for a Business PhD that begin Fall 2021.

    Under consideration: Resign my high school position, work on an online AACSB 12 month business program MS (entrepreneurship, management, or business analytics) for 2020 - 2021, and knock out the GMAT or GRE this summer. I do well on standardized tests typically scoring in the 90th - 99th percentile.

    - Will a new master's degree increase my chances of being accepted to a Business PhD program?
    - Arizona State (Carey) accepts up to 30 trasfer credits from a complete master's degree. What other US institutions accept transfer credits?
    - Could a master's improve my future job prospects?

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    Re: New Master's Before PhD in Business?

    Depending on the programs you are targeting and GMAT score, I would just apply to PhD programs the same cycle as applying to Masterís and if you get in to PhD, go. If youíve been working 18 years already youíre probably at or past 40 so I donít see why you wouldnít just apply to PhD programs right away. That is coming from an almost 32 year old with 10 years of business experience starting a program this fall. If you crack a 700+ GMAT just apply to PhD programs across a broad spectrum and see if you get some bites. If you donít get into a good enough program or no programs, then consider the Masterís. But I donít think its necessary or that an online Masterís will be that beneficial to your application unless you get to do some research or something. It definitely wonít help job prospects post-PhD IMO.

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    Re: New Master's Before PhD in Business?

    I'm not sure what kind of research in business you intent to do. Business include a lot of things. For example. Finance or Marketing. And, for Marketing, the division between Quantitative Marketing, Consumer Behavior. And, for Quantitative Marketing, a more theoretical approach, or a more empirical approach.

    So, I think it's hard to tell what could help or not without a better understanding about what you want to do.

    Depending on your research interests, something else like Computer Science, Economy, or Psychology could be better for MS than Business.

    Depending on your research interests, even your MA in History may be very good. In Marketing, there are things like the article "Historical method in marketing research with new evidence on long-term market share stability" by Peter N. Golder in Journal of Marketing Research. So, I guess an MA in History could be very useful for a research approach like that.

    So, you need to think what you would get out of a new master's degree that would be actually helpful for a PhD application. Just having a new degree wouldn't help that much, in my opinion. A master's degree can provide some benefits for PhD applications, like research experience and strong letters of recommendation if you are able to work closely with a professor with a good reputation. But this would be hard for an online program, I guess.

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    Re: New Master's Before PhD in Business?

    Thank you - this is exactly the type of advice that I hoped to receive. With sufficient study, I tend to do well on standardized tests so I believe that a GMAT of 700+ is a real possibility. What do you think will be the impact of our changed economic outlook, if any, on the number of people applying to PhD programs and the funding for those programs?

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    Re: New Master's Before PhD in Business?

    Your advice to use my MA in History is well received. Being able to leverage my past experiences, including the research I completed for my thesis, can show a PhD admissions committee my academic acumen. My thesis advisor is a potential source for one of my letters of recommendation. Constructing a list of applicant schools, taking the GMAT this summer, gathering my references, and burnishing my application sound like very accomplishable goals as I line up for the fall.

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    Re: New Master's Before PhD in Business?

    Have other people hired admissions consultants? If so, how successful do you feel they made you? Do you have specific consultants that you recommend?

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    Re: New Master's Before PhD in Business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike567 View Post
    Thank you - this is exactly the type of advice that I hoped to receive. With sufficient study, I tend to do well on standardized tests so I believe that a GMAT of 700+ is a real possibility. What do you think will be the impact of our changed economic outlook, if any, on the number of people applying to PhD programs and the funding for those programs?
    Consensus from other forums Iíve read seems to be less funding available due to declining university revenues=potentially fewer spots for PhD student cohorts at some schools for the next few years. Combine this with a job market with high unemployment and there will probably be more PhD applicants the next few years. Which will likely lead to lower admission rates.

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    Re: New Master's Before PhD in Business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike567 View Post
    Have other people hired admissions consultants? If so, how successful do you feel they made you? Do you have specific consultants that you recommend?
    I think it's quite rare to see people hiring admission consultants for a PhD in business at least.

    And if you decide to hire one, I recommend you to be very careful. I have seen some advice that look very bad to me, because consultants are used to MBA admissions (very different from PhD).

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